Anxiety Home > Important Instructions for Clonazepam

How Does It Work?

Clonazepam is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have various effects on the body, including:
 
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
     
All benzodiazepines can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why clonazepam and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
 

When and How to Take Clonazepam

Some general considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
 
  • Clonazepam comes in the form of tablets and wafers (orally disintegrating tablets). The drug is taken by mouth, usually two or three times daily.
     
  • The wafers will rapidly dissolve in your mouth, without any need for water.
     
  • The medication can be taken with or without food. If it bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Clonazepam may cause serious problems if you take it in higher dosages or for a longer period of time than your healthcare provider recommends (see Klonopin Addiction).
     

Dosing Information

The dosage that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
 
  • The medical condition being treated
  • Your age
  • Other medications you may be taking
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
     
As is always the case, do not adjust your clonazepam dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
 
(Click Clonazepam Dosing for more information.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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